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Maruti Suzuki has decided to take on Tata Motors head on, in a segment where it does not have a huge foot print - light commercial vehicles. Tata Motors is the unchallenged leader in the light commercial vehicle segment with more than 50% market share. The Tata Ace is the best selling vehicle in this segment and Maruti Suzuki is planning to venture in to this territory soon.
The leading Indian carmaker is said to be attracted by the growth prospects of the light commercial vehicle segment and is looking at new models and improving its existing models. The first name that comes in to our mind when thinking about a Maruti Suzuki commercial vehicle is the Omni Cargo.
Reports say Maruti Suzuki will soon develop a diesel avatar of the Omni. The Maruti Omni's diesel variant is expected to be powered by a new twin cylinder 800cc diesel engine being developed by Suzuki in Japan. The 800cc diesel engine was initially meant to be used in Maruti Suzuki's small cars such as the Alto and Wagon R. Now the carmaker is also considering to make use of this engine in its commercial vehicles too.
These are the possible Maruti Suzuki vehicles that could get a new 800cc diesel engine.
Maruti Suzuki is planning to plonk the 800cc diesel engine it is developing for the Alto 800 in the Omni van. The Omni diesel will be marketed as a light commercial vehicle.
Maruti Suzuki Eeco
The Eeco is another car that is possibly in contention to get the diesel engine. The Eeco has not been a sales success as it does not have a diesel variant.
Maruti Suzuki Eeco
The Eeco is a spacious car that is apt for a big family. It will definitely have better prospects in the market once it gets a diesel engine.
The new Alto 800 will be the first car to get the new twin cylinder diesel engine. The Alto 800, the successor of India's best selling car will become unbeatable once it gets the diesel engine.
Wagon R Diesel
The Wagon R Diesel has been in the news for the longest time. Maruti Suzuki will prefer to have a wagon R diesel much sooner than an Eeco diesel.
Another small car that could get the new 800cc engine is the Zen Estilo. The Zen Estilo is placed above the Wagon R and it is unlikely that it will be left out of the diesel line-up.
The Eeco could also be another contender to get the new diesel engine. The Eeco has not been a sales success for Maruti Suzuki. The Eeco diesel could be more acceptable to buyers. Maruti Suzuki might also launch a cargo version of the Eeco. Other existing vehicles that will get this diesel engine will be the new Alto 800 and the Wagon R.
Maruti Suzuki's light commercial vehicle is being developed under the project name AP. The decision to build an LCV is not merely to enter a new segment but will also help in reducing costs. The high volume generated from using the engine in both passenger vehicles and light commercial vehicles will offset the huge investment made in developing the new diesel engine.